A new year, a new leaf, a new app

Today is the day when we can all finally make a difference in this world. Today is the day when we can man up — and woman up — and decide we will be better people in 2012 than we were in 2011. We will, to paraphrase President Kennedy, ask not what this planet can do for us, but what we can do for this planet. Here are my New Year’s Resolutions for the coming year:

I will not run for president unless I know how many “unelected judges” there are on the Supreme Court. Last month, Republican candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry incorrectly referred to the eight judges on the court. So close, yet so far.

I will not run for any elected office in the United States if I have had a sleazy, tawdry extramarital escapade a la Arnold Schwarzenegger, Herman Cain or Anthony “Best Name Ever” Weiner. I will, however, run for an elected office in Europe, because admitting to having had a sleazy, tawdry extramarital escapade in Europe is the equivalent of adding a “no new taxes” pledge in America. Exhibit A? Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Exhibit B? Silvio Berlusconi.

I will invent a turd hockey cat app for the iPhone, because people who love cats can’t have too many cat apps on their iPhones. It will be the Angry Birds of 2012.

I will use teaspoons instead of soup spoons when I am bingeing on peanut butter straight from the jar.

I will write a screenplay with lead roles for Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. I will not use my own name.

I will invent a line of Space Shuttle models and toys and books. I will sell them only at Borders.

I will be a Tiger Dad. Oh, wait, my daughter is 18. That bus has left. So, I will be a Tiger Dad to my cats. No more turd hockey. No more napping 23 and a half hours a day. No more playing with the dust bunnies they find under the stove. To paraphrase Florence and the Machine (who was quoting someone else), the cat days are over.

I will have no wardrobe malfunctions, which shouldn’t be a problem since it’s really hard for a guy to have a nipple slip … and, if it did happen in my case, no one would care.

I will use teaspoons instead of soup spoons when I am bingeing on ice cream straight from the pint.

I will bench-press 205 pounds. If I have a wardrobe malfunction nipple slip while lifting, I will forgive myself.

I will shop locally — though given how flat the planet has become, that includes buying things crafted, assembled, or spun in China, India and Tajikistan.

I will not tell people when I am watching Howard Stern on “America’s Got Talent.”

I will tell people I am watching BBC World News, even when I’m not.

I will use teaspoons instead of soup spoons when I am bingeing on sour cream straight from the container.

I will connect with friends and family and try to be present in their lives in a meaningful way … on Facebook. And Twitter.

I will write a letter. By hand. I will not mail it, however, because who really has time to address an envelope these days?

Now, will I be able to keep all of these resolutions? No idea. But I will try. In the meantime, be safe, be smart, and have a Happy New Year.

And remember: If you are ever asked how many Supreme Court justices we have and don’t know the answer, don’t ask Rick Perry. Ask Charlie Sheen.

(This column originally appeared in the Burlington Free Press on January 1, 2012.)

Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of nineteen books, including his forthcoming novel, The Sleepwalker. His other novels include the New York Times bestsellers Midwives, The Sandcastle Girls, The Guest Room, and The Double Bind.